Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 8

Prayers of Praise

Whenever we hear the word ‘prayer’ our minds automatically make the association with the act of asking something of God, or petitioning God for something. Although for many prayer has been reduced to nothing more meaningful than verbalizing a wish list to God, then repeating it as often as possible until one morning they hope to wake up and find a new car in their garage, the Bible reveals that there are various kinds of prayers. There are prayers of thanksgiving, there are prayers of intercession, there are prayers of repentance, and there are also prayers of praise and adoration to God.

As I’ve been trying to puzzle out this series, I thought it best to begin our discussion with the different types of prayer we find in the Bible, proceed to a discussion on why we should pray, how we should pray, and what stumbling blocks we might run across in our quest for a vibrant prayer life, then afterwards discuss some of the prayers prayed by the men of God throughout the Bible, as well as whatever else God might put on my heart along the way.

As such, today we will begin discussing prayer of praise and adoration, and discover the beauty, relevance, and importance of it.

Luke 10:21, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things form the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.”

The prayer of praise and adoration toward God is one of the most sublime prayers we as His children can pray. He is worthy of our praise, He is worthy of our adoration, He is worthy of our exaltation, and of our glorification. When we pray prayers of praise, we are exalting God, we are honoring Him, and it is as a sweet smelling sacrifice to Him.

In our prayers of praise and adoration we declare our love toward God, a love that is limitless and alive and burning deep within our hearts. When love for God resides in our hearts we can’t help but praise Him, we can’t help but adore Him, because we have come to know His mercy and His grace, His love and His faithfulness toward those who call on His name.

When uttering prayers of praise, we forget about ourselves, and focus solely on the wondrous goodness of our God. We look to Him, and acknowledge that His grace is sufficient, no matter our circumstances, no matter our trials, and no matter our hardships.

During prayers of praise and adoration we do not approach God with the expectation of receiving from Him, but rather with the recognition of what He has already done for us.

There are countless intangible blessings for which we must praise God, there are countless works He does in our lives for which He is deserving of our adoration.

I spend about half my time traveling throughout the poorest regions of Romania, and doing outreach. It is something that God has called me to, and it is something I do with gladness of heart. The families I meet, the stories I hear, the situations I see on a daily basis, all humble me on a personal level, because I find myself realizing that I don’t spend enough time praying prayers of praise and adoration to God for what He has done in my life.

We take so much for granted in our daily lives. There’s nothing like seeing a father of six whose wife abandoned him for another man, brokenhearted and barely holding it together, or children born with birth defects, or individuals going through unimaginable trials to make us aware of just how much we take for granted, just how many blessings we ignore and overlook.

There are so many things for which we ought to praise God, yet we fail to do so time and time again.

Give praise to God, bring to Him prayers of adoration for all His many blessings, and all His wondrous works in your life. Every one of us has ample reason to bring prayers of praise to God every day of our lives. Even in our trials, even in our lack, even in our hardship we must praise Him because we know that all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

Psalm 8:1-5, “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, You who set Your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies that You may silence the enemy and the avenger. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen – even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

There is no request in this psalm, there is no petition, and there is no intercession; just a beautifully succinct exaltation and praise of God and all His wondrous works.

Be in awe of God, and all that He has done in your life, praise His name, exalt Him, and acclaim Him.

Few things are more off-putting in this world than an ungrateful child. Few things are more heartbreaking for a parent than doing all that they can for their child, yet their child being thoroughly ungrateful, feeling as though he is entitled to everything their parents do, and a little more besides.

How often it is that we act as spoiled, unthankful, entitled, and ungrateful children, who rather than praying prayers of praise to our heavenly Father, act as though what He has done for us is insufficient?

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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